David Wright is a Leader, Whether He Thinks So or Not
During the SNY telecast of last Thursday’s loss to the Chicago Cubs, Steve Gelbs asked New York Mets captain David Wright about his leadership role in the Mets’ clubhouse as he attempts to work his way back from multiple major surgeries once again.
“..You know, I’ve never been a rah-rah person or speech type person. I help out when I can but I think real leaders they go out there and lead by example and that’s grinding it out every day and that’s going out there and going through some of the tough stretches that we’ve had.”
Wright continued, “You know, being there for some of the guys when they don’t have great games and trying to keep that positive attitude. I think that’s what leadership is all about, and you just can’t do that when you’re on the sideline.”
Wright clearly knows that without being with the team on a day-to-day basis, it shouldn’t constitute him being considered a “team leader”. But whether he intends to be one or not, he’s still leading; and he’s also doing it by example, just in a different way.
The young guys on this Mets roster and even the veterans in the clubhouse are all learning valuable lessons about dedication, grit, and courage by watching one of the greatest New York Metropolitans to ever don the uniform work his way back to, hopefully, being game-ready.
With Thursday’s news of Wright, 35, returning to limited baseball activities, there was a lovely, aura-ish glow surrounding the team and its fan base heading into that night’s loss to the Cubbies. And with good reason. Our guy was back in action.
We should all know by now that to expect Wright to return to being the same guy he was in 2015 would be prudent. Heck, to even see him on the field again would be a shock to some.
But here he is. Literally forcing his body beyond what could be its limits, all in the name of getting out there one more time for the team that he clearly loves as much as it (read: we) love him. If all goes well, there’s no reason to think that’s not a distinct possibility.
To Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, Wright spoke about his first bonafide baseball workout since his August 2017 attempt that Wright acknowledged, “didn’t go so well”.
Wright said, “It felt good getting back out there. It’s my first time putting on cleats in a while and putting on the uniform, so it certainly felt good to do that.”
“I’ve been down this road long enough to know that you never really know what tomorrow brings,” he continued, “It was nice to get out there today. It was nice to throw for a little bit.”
Wright then expanded a bit more on the process that he will be taking to, hopefully, eventually reach his goal of returning to the Mets.
“I think every day I’m going to try to start ramping it up more and more and see how my shoulder and my back respond,” Wright continued, “It’s day-one of baseball stuff. Hopefully, more days to come where things continue to go well.”
Wright’s been doing this dance since May 2015, when he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Since then, he’s had multiple, major back, shoulder, and neck surgeries.
It seems as if every time we heard that David Wright was starting baseball activities, not soon thereafter we would hear that he was being shut down again. Clearly, the Captain still has some of that fire that we all know so well still burning inside of him.
Wright said to DiComo, “I wouldn’t be wasting my time going out there and playing a meaningless game of catch if I wasn’t hoping that I could give it another go. It’s way too early to start circling days.”
Whether Wright will indeed make it back to Flushing is a truth that’s still far from revealing itself.
But for Mets fans young and old, last week’s announcement undoubtedly had us all dreaming of David Wright’s smiling face, underneath that beautiful blue cap with an orange button on top, running out of the dugout one more time.